Reflect on your actions

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- As we approach the New Year, many of us will set goals and/or challenges to complete in the upcoming year. For many, weight loss will be their challenge, for some it may be giving up a bad habit, and for others it might be to spend more time with family and friends.

This year I have a challenge for you that everyone could benefit from. I challenge us all to treat each other with a little more dignity and respect. That sounds easy right...or is it?

I am sure you already pondered the above mentioned challenge briefly and most likely confirmed in your mind that you already treat people around you with respect. For the most part you are probably correct, but I ask you to really reflect on your actions throughout the next year. Be cognizant of your behavior, your language, your dress, your correspondence and your actions. Do people around you appear to be uncomfortable or avoid you when you talk about certain subjects? Do people not show up at events or certain locations? It's only through close self-observation that you will truly notice if you are behaving in a manner that creates and reinforces a workplace atmosphere of respect and professionalism. Take time to ask people if anything you do or say is offensive and have an open, respectful conversation about the subjects. Education, awareness and respect are the main avenues for improving our culture.

We are a very diverse Air Force. We have Airmen that come from many different cultures and backgrounds, but we all joined the Air Force with the expectation of serving under the Air Force Core Values. All of us bring different skillsets and capabilities to the fight and I value each person who joins our cause of protecting America's freedom. Whatever your background and however you were raised, we are all here to serve our great nation. That is our common denominator. If nothing else we need to respect everyone who has raised their hand in support of that cause. We all deserve to work in an environment that values us as individuals and as Airmen.

Throughout the next year, we could all benefit from being treated with a little more dignity and respect. So leave your prejudices behind you, be aware of the needs of others, and recognize the worth of your fellow Airmen. I am proud to serve alongside each one of you in the world's finest Air Force. Remember we are only the finest Air Force because of the people we serve with. Happy Holidays, and good luck with your New Year's resolutions!